Dual Flu & COVID Vaccines: NJ Promotes Prevention

Sara Irshad

You can tackle two viruses this cold and flu season with one strategic visit, as health authorities in New Jersey recommend a dual vaccination approach.

As the latest round of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns rolls out across pharmacies and medical offices in the state, health officials emphasise the importance of prioritizing flu vaccinations.

According to Dr. Edward Lifshitz, the medical director of the Communicable Disease Service at the New Jersey Department of Health, both vaccinations carry equal weight. Since it takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after each shot, he strongly advises residents of the Garden State to start the process without delay.

Lifshitz strongly emphasized the need for serious consideration regarding the matter at hand, urging individuals to take action between now and next month, specifically by the middle of October. In light of this, he strongly advises people to proceed promptly and acquire the necessary vaccinations.

What's particularly convenient is that both vaccinations can be administered during a single visit, Lifshitz added.

In addition to COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, the availability of influenza vaccines is noteworthy. Typically, flu season in New Jersey spans from October to May, with most cases occurring during the winter months.

Lifshitz highlighted the severity of the flu, even in a typical year, stating that it can claim the lives of up to 1,500 residents in New Jersey and leave many others seriously ill.

Looking ahead, Lifshitz anticipates that if New Jersey follows the pattern of the Southern Hemisphere, which is concluding its flu season, the upcoming flu season should be average. However, it's worth noting that flu seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres don't always align perfectly.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in South American countries revealed that this year's flu vaccine performed effectively against the strains circulating among children and adults. The 2023-2023 U.S. flu vaccines share a similar virus composition with those in the Southern Hemisphere.

In addition to the combined COVID and flu vaccinations, health authorities are urging individuals aged 60 and older to vaccinate against RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), marking the first-ever approved vaccine for this respiratory illness.

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